This week, the team set to work making one of April’s signature Coiled Baskets. A client requested this after seeing a larger version of it in our studio. This is one item that could not be made by just one person, no matter how talented. Like most large glass pieces, its production requires teamwork.
The process of making a Coiled Basket is mesmerizing visually, but it’s a bit of an endurance challenge for the team. The piece gets heavier as layers of molten glass are added. Because it’s so large, the furnace doors stay wide open, dramatically increasing the temperature in the studio. Shaping each colored layer requires a great attention to detail. And moving, turning, and maintaining the shape of the large vessel takes some serious upper body strength!
At each stage, hot glass is gathered from the furnace, rolled into the appropriate shape, and then coated in colored Frit (coarse glass dust.) Then, the color coated glass is re-heated until it’s hot enough to be spread around the base of the basket like a thick liquid. Below, Marc is seated at the bench, making sure the application is placed properly. He will then pinch the hot glass in an alternating pattern to give it a wavy, abstract shape.
When the basket is nearly done, a torch is used to smooth out the base before it’s separated from the rod. Sunglasses are worn to protect the eyes while they’re fixated on the molten glass. Yes, it is THAT hot. Sunglasses are also worn because they make us look cool.
At the end, the basket is cooled at strategic points so that the connection between the glass and the rod can be severed. It will then be put into the annealer for about 24 hours to set, and reach a reasonable temperature.
We’ll be posting more process articles like this in the future. Is there a part of our collection that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!